Smith, A. (2015). Stick. NY: Square Fish.
Stark “Stick” McClennan is 13.5 and in his own opinion “ugly” as he was born with only one ear. He comes from an abusive home. Lucky for him, he has his older brother Bosten who looks out for him. Stick’s best friend, Emily, sees what is on the inside and does not care about his ear. Paul is Bosten’s best friend and secret boyfriend. During Easter break they are sent to stay with their Aunt Dahlia, who is practically a stranger to them. However, she shows them love like no one else ever has. Then when they return back home the secret of Paul and Bosten’s love is found out. To escape their father’s wrath, Bosten runs away from home. A few days later Stick leaves to go find his brother. Along the journey in searching for his brother he encounters different kinds of people. Some of these people show compassion and others the opposite. Finally he finds his brother and brings him home to Aunt Dahlia’s. This is a great novel about the relationship of two brothers. They stick up for one another, keep secrets, tell lies, and even take physical abuse for each other. Their bond will not be broken. I would recommend the book to 8th graders and up.